Leadership is rarely something that is arbitrarily given. Rather, leadership is earned. If you’re already a credit union leader, you still must earn your position every day. That goes double for aspiring leaders, who must be proactive in their pursuit of performance and responsibility.
But continuing education opportunities for credit union leadership is scarce. So, what can you learn, who can you learn from, and where can you find these people?
What Leaders Can Learn
Leaders and aspiring leaders can learn quite a bit, actually—at least, depending on the venue. There may be some management training seminars out there, but those tend to be generic. Then, there are certifications and webinars from NAFCU and CUNA…
But often, these educational opportunities are pre-decided. They may not fit your individual needs for professional growth.
So, current and aspiring leaders should look for flexible leadership training that specifically addresses their challenges. Social media groups on LinkedIn and peer mentoring groups are the best ways to get individualized guidance on your most pressing issues. By avoiding classes and conferences, you give yourself the best chance to learn exactly what you want and need to learn.
Who Can Leaders Learn From
Leaders can learn from any agency or organization that presents growth opportunities. NAFCU and CUNA both hold frequent certification programs, conferences, and webinars. Furthermore, some programs exist to help aspiring leaders learn more about growing a successful credit union career.
But there are two basic classes of people that credit union leaders can learn from.
- Learn from teachers and consultants. Some people make it their life’s work to teach management and leadership skills. They give sound advice and often present proven systems and frameworks for success.
However, teachers and consultants tend toward a “one size fits all” approach. If they’re not focused on the credit union industry, then they can only get you so far…
- Learn from peers. Peer learning is a very strong option because it ensures that the people you learn from are people who have been in your exact position and faced the same challenges. Their advice will be more tailored to your individual needs, and they’ll be able to dig into your situation in way more detail.
Peer groups may include competitors and vendors, too. For example, credit union leaders who want to know more about mortgages might want to learn from a mortgage servicer. Leaders who want to learn more about AI and technology may want to work with a leading fintech.
Remember, you can’t learn from someone who doesn’t know about your challenges. Learning form teachers and consultants will teach you basic management skills and principles. However, learning from peers will provide real-world feedback from others who faced (or are facing) similar issues.
Where Can Leaders Learn?
Current and aspiring credit union leaders can sign up for various leadership training events and classes from NAFCU, CUNA, and private parties.
However, we strongly suggest the Mastermind format. The Mastermind peer mentoring format follows a loose schedule determined by the participants themselves.
What to learn more about how Mastermind groups work? See our page about it here!